Monday, July 6, 2015

The Love We Resent

John has, on occasion, yelled at me when he sees me driving my wheelchair in ways that might harm me. Initially (because I don't see the danger myself) I bristle with resentment, sometimes stubbornly continuing my course of action until I see my error. Thankfully, so far I've caught my mistakes in time to avoid serious consequences,  but I have gotten into a few sticky situations that I wouldn't have faced had I listened to my husband.

He yelled at me out of love for me.

Christians often warn people against beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that would place them under God's wrath. Just as I resent John's efforts to protect me, so most people resent Christians for proclaiming the truth. They perceive us as hateful, self-righteous bigots who want to impose our antiquated morality on society at large. As they see it, we want to restrict their freedom...particularly in reference to sexuality.

In contrast, because we take Scripture seriously, we know that rebellion against God requires punishment. Those who trust Christ can rest secure that He has paid for our sin by shedding His blood on the cross. His grace in effecting our salvation, however, means that He has authority over how we conduct our lives.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. ~~Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)
Those who reject the Lord's authority, insisting on pursuing sin (and sometimes even demanding that He bless it), demonstrate that they have no understanding of grace. They stubbornly stride toward an eternity in hell, misinterpreting our pleas for their repentance as hate speech. Little do they understand that, like John yelling to keep me from driving my wheelchair into danger, we can best love them by hating their sin.

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